Basketball is Back in Boise

(Photo via Robert J Pfeifer)

On October 2nd, the Boise State men’s basketball team held their first formal practice. With just 31 days between their first practice and first pre-season game, the Broncos must prepare accordingly.

  • The Broncos hosted the College of Idaho in an exhibition on November 2nd, and won 74-69.
  • The first regular season game will be tomorrow against NAIA school, Eastern Oregon at Taco Bell Arena at 8PM.

Returning Players

There’s no doubt replacing the likes of Nick Duncan will be difficult for head coach Leon Rice. Finishing with 1,141 career points and 250 three’s, the Broncos must find someone or a group of players to fill the void.

However, Rice is blessed with the return of the likes of Chandler Hutchison. Hutchison, who backed out of the NBA draft, returns to the Broncos for his senior season.

Chandler Hutchison (SR): The numbers from the 2015 to the 2016 season speak for themselves. Hutchison nearly or successfully doubled his offensive production in every category.

Now heading into this season, the senior leader must continue to shine and improve.

“The biggest goal for me now while I’m still here is to win a Mountain West championship,” Hutchinson said in his recent interview with the Idaho Statesman.

One of only three seniors on the active roster, Hutchison will be a key leader for the Broncos.

The Trio of Sophomore Guards (Justinian Jessup,Ā Marcus Dickinson, and Alex Hobbs): Last season, the Broncos had young depth. Rice’s job was to put some of these young players into uncomfortable situations and see who competed.

Right off the bat, Justinian Jessup started all but one game as a true freshman. He showed Bronco Nation his deep threat abilities and havoc defensive play.

Marcus Dickinson, much like that of Jessup, played in almost every game last season. He was a good backup for Paris Austin sometimes giving life and energy off the bench. He also hit a clutch three in the win over Utah last season. Look for the young Sophomore to possibly start or at the least see quality minutes off the bench.

Rounding out the returning guards is Alex Hobbs. Hobbs did exactly what any “under the radar” player must do: make big time plays in big time games.

It seemed like, for part of last season, Rice flirted with the playing time and competition between Hobbs and sophomore guard Cameron Oluyitan. Hobbs ended up winning the competition for playing time and, like Dickinson, appeared in 26 games.

The Trio of Junior Centers (Robin Jorch, Zach Haney, and David Wacker): One thing the Broncos don’t lack, in terms of depth, is big men that want the ball. Simply put, Feed The Beast!

Last season, Rice would typically start David Wacker. Even if Wacker didn’t go back in the rest of the half, he still gave the Broncos what they needed. Eventually, Rice would keep whichever beast had the hot hand in the game.

Wacker has been a consistent player since entering Rice’s program. Even if he doesn’t score in the game, you know what you’re going to get; a tough kid with high energy.

Wacker started 28 games last season. Look for his increased role both as a leader and rebounder.

Haney returns to the Broncos after a productive 2016 campaign. Last season Haney was a vital rotation player who could go off at any moment.

His most memorable game was a home contest against SDSU. In that game, Haney had 19 points.

The last member of the “Beast” family is Robin Jorch. Jorch, slowly but surely, has been adjusting to Rice’s system for three season now. Last season he earned valuable minuets and was necessary down the stretch. Look For Jorch to complement the center position and possibly compete to start for it too.

Derrick Alston (RS-FR) and Malek Harwell (RS-SO): Bronco Nation hasn’t gotten much of a chance to see these guys in action.

Malek Harwell, an Idaho native, played just 39 minuets last season. However, in the time he did play, he did attribute 13 points and 8 rebounds. Look for Harwell’s role to increase as he steps in for his third season under Rice.

Derrick Alston red shirted last season. Thus, Bronco Nation hasn’t had a chance to watch him play.

Now coming into his second season, Alston will look to compete for playing time.

New Faces

One of the “funner” concepts in sports are the new faces on rosters. Every year, teams lose players to graduation, transferring, or even something called “declaring early for the draft.”

No matter the reasons behind the roster changes, one thing’s for sure: It’s about how you play as a team!

“There’s just something different in our team this year that guys are willing to do whatever for each other,” said Hutchinson while talking to the Idaho Statesmen regarding team chemistry.

This year, for the Broncos, is no exception. Rice invites five new faces to the Bronco roster:

Cam Christon (FR): Hailing from Allen, Texas, Christon earned “District 6 Offensive Player of the Year” honors. Christon provides the Broncos with depth at the guard position.

Standing 6’6″, Christon’s lengthy presence, along with scoring ability, should provide the Broncos with a vital offensive piece. Even if he doesn’t play this season, look for Christon to developĀ  in Rice’s system.

Matt Serven (FR): Like Christon, Matt Serven is another guard coming to the Bronco’s program. Serven may red shirt this season, but look for him to develop in Rice’s system as well.

Lexus Williams (RS-SR): For Lexus Williams, it’s another opportunity to play basketball. Last season, he played for Valparaiso; this season he plays for the Broncos.

As a grad transfer, Williams brings with him experience, leadership, and depth. He will be competing with Dickinson for the starting point guard position.

Casdon JardineĀ (SO): Transferring from a nearby college in Twin Falls, The College of Southern Idaho, Jardine comes to the Broncos as just a sophomore. Rice knows that the loss of Duncan, both from a height perspective and shooting lens, will be missed. The Answer? Possibly Jardine.

Standing at 6’7″, Jardine is considered a stretch forward. He has the height and skill set of a forward but can kill you with his outside shot.

He follows in the footsteps of both Montigo Alford (2014) and James Reid (2016). All three players, at one point in time, transferred from CSI to BSU. Jardine could be the missing piece to the Bronco front court.

Christian Sengfelder (SR): Like that of Lexus Williams, Sengfelder is a grad transfer. Sengfelder started 93 games in his three seasons at Fordham. Look for him as he competes for time both at the power forward and center positions.


About Darrek Harris

Darrek Harris
Darrek was born and raised in Boise, ID. Currently, he has an associates degree in English from the College of Western Idaho. He plans to pursue a bachelors degree in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing. He enjoys sports in many fashions: playing, cheering, and coaching. Bleed Blue, Go Broncos, Amen!

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